Ramona and Mark are a pair of the sweetest people I have ever met. I adore my clients’ love stories, but there’s something extra special about these two. Their joy is infectious and it was my privilege to capture their wedding day!
This pair met while taking a swing dancing class over ten years ago. Friday night dances and the weekly lessons provided opportunities for them to enjoy learning something new, release their stress, and build friendships within the dance community, many of whom were there to celebrate their wedding day.
Over the last ten years, they have continued to dance together, travel, and share their love of wine by visiting over 250 Virginia wineries! Since they couldn’t have their European honeymoon this year, Morais Vineyards & Winery was the perfect setting for their wedding day to incorporate their love of wine with a touch of European architecture and ambiance. Morais is one of their favorite wineries, and the Portuguese inspired courtyard was the perfect setting for some romantic couples’ portraits as husband and wife.
Ramona had so many elegant details in store for us, including a spectacular beaded white and gold bridal mask—the perfect accessory for a 2020 wedding! Her bridesmaids wore deep Bordeaux—another nod to their love of wine perhaps, and a gorgeous color for this early fall wedding. You could tell she was nervous as she pinned on her earrings and finished getting ready. Her daughter, also her matron of honor, was a reassuring presence all morning. Once she had slipped on her dress and shoes, she shared a special moment with her brother, who was there to deliver an emotional letter of love and gratitude from Mark. Meanwhile, Mark was also reading a love note from Ramona while they both prepared for their first look.
After wiping away the tears in her eyes, Ramona walked out to meet her groom for their first look, and he swept her away all over again! They shared an emotional moment together to soak in their beautiful wedding day and all that had led up to it. When they were ready, we stopped for some portraits by the gorgeous bridal chalet. I asked if Ramona had a preferred side, and she said—in all sincerity— “just beside him.” So sweet!
They describe the path to becoming husband and wife as a fairytale come true. Ramona says Mark is her prince charming, and she absolutely looked like Cinderella on her wedding day! During her bridal portraits, everyone was commenting on how stunning she looked and her unique dress choice.
She told us that while she shopped for a wedding dress, all the options that were designated for women her age were frumpy, plain, unfitted, and not very flattering. She intentionally chose a statement wedding dress meant for a young bride so she could write back to bridal magazines and shops who had steered her in the other direction that their conceptions of what a 60-year-old bride should wear are narrow and unimaginative, and she is so right!
These two incorporated their family into their celebration at every opportunity. Ramona’s son got to walk her down the aisle, and several of their grandchildren and close friends provided readings and songs for the ceremony. They even had a shared friend officiate.
After the ceremony, a jazz trio greeted guests as they made their way to cocktail hour in the courtyard. It wasn’t long before couples were dancing! At their reception, Mark and Ramona had a choreographed first dance in store for everyone to show off the skills that first brought them together. The reception was extremely lively, filled with movement and dancing from many of the friends who had watched the couple fall in love in dance classes over the last decade. The live band kept this crew moving from before dinner was served to late that night.
There were emotional speeches and touching remarks from friends and family throughout the night, including an especially heart-warming toast about Ramona’s newfound happiness from her daughter. We ended the night with a faux sparkler exit, using ribbons and lights to wave and cheer, celebrating the new Mr and Mrs! But, they returned right back to the dance floor to dance the rest of the night away.
This day was a long time coming, and their joy was felt by everyone! Celebrating with their friends and family was extremely important to them. They had taken special care to ensure they could safely enjoy the day, including quarantining together for several weeks. They prepared personalized gifts to show their gratitude for many of their cherished guests, wedding party, and even the vendors who worked to make their day special. This thoughtful touch made me feel so valued and appreciated. Their love and warmth is truly contagious!
Ramona and Mark said they felt like their wedding team was the dream team, and I agree! Here are
some of the other wonderful vendors who made this wedding possible:
Venue: Morais Vineyards
Floral: Everlasting Flowers
Planning: May June Events
Tuxes: Black Tux
Catering: Pampas Fox
Videography: Ace 19 Media
Band: DC Transit Band
Makeup: Amazing Occasions
Invitations: KK’s Printing